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Experiencing Joint Pain? Learn About Arthritis Types

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Experiencing Joint Pain

Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling, in the affected joints. It decreases range of motion and causes discomfort to cope up with daily activities. While arthritis can affect individuals of all ages, it primarily impacts older adults. The risk increases with age, and arthritis is most prevalent in adults over 65 years old. However, certain forms, like juvenile arthritis, can affect children and adolescents.

While there is no cure for most types of arthritis, various treatment options are available to help manage symptoms, improve joint function, and enhance quality of life. Treatment approaches typically include a combination of pain relieving medication, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and in some cases, surgery. Keep reading to know more about arthritis, its symptoms, treatment and best medications.

What Are the Types of Arthritis?

Arthritis encompasses over 100 different types, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most common.  The symptoms of arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis. The most common symptoms include joint pain and stiffness.

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The 7 Most Common Types of Arthritis Include:

  1. Osteoarthritis (OA): This degenerative joint disease occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of bones wears down over time, leading to pain, swelling, and reduced mobility, especially in weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips, and spine.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): It is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium, the lining of the membranes that surround the joints, causing inflammation, pain, swelling, and eventually joint damage. RA commonly affects small joints in the hands and feet.
  3. Ankylosing spondylitis: It is a form of arthritis primarily affecting the spine, causing inflammation and stiffness in the vertebrae. Over time, it can lead to fusion of the spinal joints, resulting in decreased flexibility and mobility. It may also affect other joints, eyes, and organs, leading to chronic pain and disability.
  4. Gout: This condition by sudden and severe attacks of pain, redness, and swelling in the joints, typically the big toe. Gout occurs due to the accumulation of urate crystals in the joints, often triggered by a diet high in purines.
  5. Psoriatic arthritis: It is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis, a chronic skin condition. Psoriatic arthritis causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, along with skin changes such as red patches with silvery scales.
  6. Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition marked by musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points in the body. It is often associated with other rheumatic conditions.
  7. Childhood arthritis: It is also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), is a condition that affects children and adolescents. It causes inflammation in one or more joints, leading to pain, swelling, and stiffness. If left untreated, JIA can cause lasting damage to the joints, potentially resulting in disability and impaired mobility in children.

What Are the Causes of Arthritis?

Arthritis can have various causes, depending on the type. Common causes include genetics, age, joint injury, and autoimmune disorders. 

  • Osteoarthritis often develops due to wear and tear on the joints over time, while rheumatoid arthritis is triggered by an abnormal immune response attacking healthy joint tissues. 
  • Other types, like gout, result from the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints. Infections, such as Lyme disease, can also lead to arthritis.
  • Lifestyle factors like obesity, sedentary habits, and poor diet can also increase the risk of developing arthritis.

What Are the Best Treatments for Arthritis?

Treatment for arthritis varies based on the type and severity of the condition. Managing pain effectively is crucial for enhancing the quality of life in arthritis patients. For adults, numerous non-medication methods exist to alleviate pain without the potential side effects of medications. Among these, physical activity emerges as a top strategy for pain management in arthritis. The other common approaches to manage arthritis symptoms, improve joint function, and slow down disease progression include:

  • Physical therapy: Exercises and stretches as prescribed by a physical therapist can help improve joint flexibility, strengthen muscles around the affected joints, and reduce pain.
  • Lifestyle changes: Maintaining a healthy weight reduces stress on joints, while regular exercise helps improve joint function and overall health. Dietary changes, such as reducing inflammation-promoting foods and increasing intake of anti-inflammatory foods, may also provide relief.
  • Assistive devices: Using braces, splints, or orthotics can support affected joints and improve mobility for individuals with arthritis. These assistive devices help stabilize the joints, reduce pain, and enhance functionality by providing additional support and alignment. Braces and splints can help prevent further damage to the joints by limiting excessive movement, while orthotics can redistribute pressure and alleviate strain on specific areas. 

In severe cases where the above treatments fail, joint replacement surgery may be necessary to replace damaged joints with artificial ones.

What Are the Best Medications to Reduce Arthritis Pain?

The commonly prescribed allopathic medications that effectively reduce arthritis pain include: 

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen are commonly used to reduce pain and inflammation in arthritis.
  • Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is often recommended for mild to moderate pain relief, especially for those who cannot tolerate NSAIDs.
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and hydroxychloroquine are often used for inflammatory types of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Biologic agents like TNF-alpha inhibitors, IL-6 inhibitors, and JAK inhibitors are reserved for more severe cases of inflammatory arthritis.
  • Pain-relieving creams, topical NSAIDs, or patches such as Volini Gel or Moov, containing diclofenac, menthol, or capsaicin, offer localised relief for arthritis pain.
  • Joint health supplements like Jointace can also promote joint health and may be beneficial for arthritis management. These contain glucosamine and chondroitin, which effectively manage joint pain.

These medicines can be procured by ordering online through medicine delivery apps. The online medicines purchase ensures a hassle-free and timely delivery to your doorstep.  If you order from online pharmacy apps like Truemeds that offer generic substitutes, you can save a lot on your arthritis medicines expenses.

Takeaway

Arthritis pain can be well managed with a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. It’s important to safeguard your joints against further damage by opting for gentle exercises such as walking, cycling, and swimming. These low-impact activities minimise the risk of injury and reduce stress on the joints, promoting joint health and mobility. By incorporating these activities into your routine, along with adhering to prescribed medications, you can enhance your joint functioning and reduce the impact of arthritis on daily functioning.

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Health

IIT-K and BFI collaborate to drive healthcare innovation in India

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IIT-K and BFI forge partnership to accelerate healthcare innovation in India

Kanpur, April 17 (IANS) – The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K) has entered into a strategic partnership with Blockchain For Impact (BFI) to drive advancements in healthcare in India. Under the BFI-Biome Virtual Network Programme, this collaboration aims to nurture innovations in the healthcare sector.

As part of the partnership, BFI will support IIT Kanpur in promoting entrepreneurial initiatives through the Startup Incubation & Innovation Centre (SIIC). A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at IIT Kanpur by Prof. Kantesh Balani, Dean of Resources and Alumni (DoRA), IIT Kanpur; and Dr. Gaurav Singh, CEO BFI.

BFI has committed to allocating over $150,000 across three years to develop programmes tailored to healthcare-focused startups at IIT Kanpur’s SIIC. This collaboration harnesses IIT Kanpur’s expertise in fostering entrepreneurship and BFI’s dedication to advancing biomedical research.

Prof. Kantesh Balani, DoRA, IIT Kanpur, expressed his optimism about the partnership, stating, “This MoU will help us share knowledge, support startups effectively, and improve our capacity-building efforts.” Dr. Gaurav Singh, CEO of BFI, highlighted the inspiring work of IIT Kanpur incubatees in healthcare innovation and the alignment of missions to accelerate impactful solutions in biomedical research.

This partnership signifies a significant step towards advancing healthcare innovation in India by leveraging expertise and resources. The collaboration between IITK and BFI holds promise for improving public health and ensuring equitable healthcare access for all.

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Doctors are hopeful that gene therapy could be a breakthrough for haemophilia, a blood disorder

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Gene therapy holds promise for blood disorder haemophilia: Doctors

On World Haemophilia Day, doctors highlighted the potential of gene therapy in treating haemophilia, a hereditary blood disorder. Haemophilia is caused by missing or defective clotting factors and raises the risk of severe bleeding and joint damage. Genetic counselling and screening are crucial for affected individuals. India has a high number of haemophilia cases, but many go undiagnosed due to lack of screening capabilities.

Gene therapy offers a promising approach to treating haemophilia by delivering functional genes to correct the genetic defect responsible for deficient clotting factor production. Recent clinical trials show positive outcomes, including the use of lentiviral vectors at CMC Vellore. While current treatment involves factor VIII infusions, gene therapy may offer a cure for haemophilia, especially in low and middle-income countries.

According to Anoop P, Sr. Consultant – Haematology at Aster RV Hospital, “Gene therapy is a potentially curative treatment for haemophilia.” It allows for editing the faulty gene of a baby inside the uterus, known to be born with haemophilia due to a family history. Ongoing research on gene therapy shows promising results, indicating a potential paradigm shift in the management and cure of haemophilia.

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The Connection Between Daytime Sleep and Increased Risk of Dementia

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How daytime sleep can raise dementia risk

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) Compensating for lack of sleep during the daytime may not be as effective as previously thought, warned Dr. Sudhir Kumar, a neurologist based in Hyderabad. According to Dr. Sudhir, daytime sleep is not in sync with the body’s natural clock and can increase the risk of dementia and other psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Sudhir, from Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, highlighted in a post on X.com that daytime sleep is lighter and does not fulfill the body’s sleep requirements. He explained, “This fact is supported by numerous studies of night shift workers, who are predisposed to stress, obesity, cognitive deficits, and an elevated risk of neurodegenerative diseases.”

The neurologist pointed out that the glymphatic system, responsible for clearing the brain of protein waste products, is most active during sleep. Therefore, when there is a lack of sleep, the glymphatic system may fail, increasing the risk of dementia. Dr. Sudhir stated, “Glymphatic failure is the common pathway of dementia, leading to the accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain.”

Factors such as poor sleep quality, age, sedentary lifestyle, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, sleep apnoea, circadian misalignment, substance abuse, and depression can also suppress or result in the failure of the glymphatic system. Dr. Sudhir emphasized, “Good sleepers tend to live longer, weigh less, have a reduced incidence of psychiatric disorders, and maintain cognitive function for longer periods.”

In conclusion, Dr. Sudhir advised that consistently sleeping well at night can lead to better cognitive function and decrease the risk of dementia and psychiatric disorders. It is essential to prioritize quality sleep to maintain overall brain health and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

–IANS
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